As one of the best cities for live music, Toronto has a venue for every type of concert-goer, from intimate neighbourhood bars to gargantuan stadiums. 

In the mood to catch a live show? Here’s where you’ll find your ideal concert experience in Toronto.

Indie aficionado

For you, smaller is better. You’re happiest catching talented performers before their breakthrough success, up close and personal, in a club setting. The interaction, the low-key vibe, the company of a small group of music lovers — that’s what makes you hum.

Get Your Groove On At:

  • Parkdale’s two indie hotels/cultural hubs, Drake Hotel, for rock and DJ beats, and the Gladstone House, for an eclectic mix of rock, pop, world beat, jazz and folk
  • Queen Street West’s Horseshoe Tavern — holy ground to roots, rockabilly and alt-country fans. Past performers include iconic Canadian bands Tragically Hip, Sheepdogs and Blue Rodeo
  • Ossington Village’s Dakota Tavern, where you’ll find bluegrass, country and folk most nights, as well as a local fave: Saturday and Sunday Bluegrass Brunch* 

Auditorium audiophile

Superior acoustics, excellent sightlines, comfortable seats, inspiring architecture and design — all the hallmarks of a fine concert hall. If you’re looking for a night out that feels like a special event, here are venues worth dressing up for.

Get Your Groove On At:

  • The beautifully renovated and recently re-opened Massey Hall, a venerable downtown institution known for hosting music’s greatest acts, including the legendary 1953 ensemble jazz performance of Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, Bud Powell and Max Roach
  • The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, home of the Canadian Opera Company, located in the Entertainment District
  • Meridian Hall (formerly The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts), located in historic Old Town, and host to a variety of musical performances, ranging from rock and classical to children’s programming
  • The Royal Conservatory of Music’s Koerner Hall, known for its incomparable acoustics and eclectic programming, ranging from classical and opera to jazz and pop

Lounge lizard

There’s a reason why old-timey lounges have never gone out of style: hardcore music fans know the best way to soak up your fave sounds is to relax, sip a cocktail then get up and dance the night away.

Get Your Groove On At:

  • Lula Lounge, in up-and-coming Little Portugal. Enjoy dinner and show — usually salsa, Latin jazz, African and World Beat — or make a beeline to Sunday brunch*, which features Cuban bands and free salsa lessons 
  • Queen Street West’s legendary Rex Jazz & Blues Bar, for the hippest cool cats performing live every night of the week
  • The Piston, Bloor Street West mainstay for DJs spinning classic vinyl disco, house, soul, new wave, Brit-pop, classic alternative and other genres in a fun, dance party setting

Big bang seeker

Everyone knows it: stadium shows rock. The crowds, the energy, the booming sound. Catch the arena rock fever (don’t worry, there’s plenty of R&B, hip hop and country, too) at Toronto’s largest concert venues.

Get Your Groove On At

  • Budweiser Stage—the outdoor venue is a breezy waterfront location drawing top acts like Post Malone (July 19 & 20, 2023), Snoop Dog with Wiz Khalifa, Too $hort and guests (July 26, 2023) and The National (August 20, 2023) 

  • The Entertainment District’s Scotiabank Arena, where you can scream your love to A-listers like Alicia Keys (July 14, 2023), Sam Smith (August 11, 2023) and Madonna (August 13 & 14, 2023) with 20,000 fellow fans

  • Toronto’s biggest mega-stadium, Rogers Centre, for today’s biggest arena rock acts, including Beyoncé (July 8 & 9, 2023), Jonas Brothers (August 19, 2023) and Guns N’ Roses (September 3, 2023). ‘Nuff said.